Alex de Minaur certainly earned his way into a maiden ATP Masters 1000 semifinal on Friday at the National Bank Open, maintaining his hot form on outdoor hard courts.

A day earlier, De Minaur erased a 1-5 deficit and saved two set points prior to winning what proved to be a crucial tie-break over eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz. Though the American later leveled the clash, De Minaur ultimately ran away with the final set.

The Australian once again showcased his ability to play from behind. This time he clawed back against Daniil Medvedev, the lone former Toronto champion in the draw, by gritting out a 7-6 (7), 7-5 victory. De Minaur fought back from 2-5 down, then wiped away three set points in the opening tiebreaker to take his first lead of the day.

In the second set, De Minaur twice clawed back from falling behind a break and broke the No. 2 seed for a fourth occasion to wrap up in two hours and three minutes. After dropping his first four meetings with Medvedev, the Sydney native has now taken their past two.

“I just tell myself that I'm going to fight till the end, until the last point, no matter what the score is. And I think that's a big virtue,” De Minaur said in his press conference. “I learned it from a young age to always compete no matter what the score is. And it gets to the point where the opponents know that as well. They know that, and they're going to have to beat me. I'm not going to give up at any stage.”

De Minaur owned seven Top 10 wins before 2023. He's since raised the total to 13.

De Minaur owned seven Top 10 wins before 2023. He's since raised the total to 13.


Last Sunday, De Minaur finished runner-up to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Los Cabos. The 24-year-old began the quick turnaround in Canada two days later, dispatching his first of three seeded opponents when he ousted No. 11 seed Cameron Norrie. He is seeking his second trophy of the year, having lifted his first ATP 500 crown in Acapulco.

For a place in the final, De Minaur meets Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The Spaniard continued his impressive week, overpowering Mackenzie McDonald, 6-4, 6-2. He won 52 percent of his return points to break McDonald five times in the 96-minute contest.

Davidovich Fokina improved to 26-19 this year and snapped a 0-5 streak in quarterfinals contested across 2023. Last year, he made his ATP final debut when he finished runner-up to Tsitsipas at the 1000-level tournament in Monte Carlo.

“I am, like, more relaxed offside the court. And I think that's the key that gives me a lot of power when I step on court,” Davidovich Fokina shared with press. “Then, I'm very calm when I'm playing. And I don't care about to lose or win. Just to enjoy and to play and to win every point.”

De Minaur will see his first win over Davidovich Fokina away from the Next Gen ATP Finals, having dropped previous tour meetings on clay and grass.

“It's a huge opportunity, but I think we've both shown that we kind of deserve to be here by the opponents we've beaten. So it shows that we're both playing some great tennis,” believes De Minaur.

“We've played [an] immense amount of junior matches, and we've been able to grow up together. So it's going to be a very fun match. I'm looking forward to it.”